Board of Education approves Special Education position

The department faces 'complex issues'

Superintendent Niesz (center) addressed the Board of Education on Jan. 26.
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Superintendent Niesz (center) addressed the Board of Education on Jan. 26.

The Bayonne School District created a new assistant superintendent position at the Board of Education meeting on Jan. 26.

According to Superintendent of Schools John Niesz, the district’s Special Education Department faces “extensive, persistent and complex” issues. There are 1,500 special education students, or approximately 15 percent of the school population.

“This is obviously a significant number of students who require concentrated attention,” Niesz said, calling for the creation an Assistant Superintendent of Special Services position, which “would not only take charge of this entire educational area, but this position will create a clear understanding for the staff and the community of the importance the district places on education.”

Niesz said the new assistant superintendent position will “both operationally and in terms of perception place special education on par with other areas as a core district priority and place the leadership of special education in the Central Office.”

Awaiting a candidate 

The resolution adopted at the meeting approved the job description but not an individual to serve in the position.

According to Niesz, the Toms River Regional School District with 15,000 students, the South Orange-Maplewood School District with 7,200 students, the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District, the Edison School District, and the Bridgewater-Raritan School District have implemented the position.

“In terms of administrative efficiency, delivery of service, quality control, and a message, I think the creation of this position is a positive idea that would be to the district’s advantage,” Niesz said.

“It is a position that is needed in Bayonne and will help our special education population,” said Board of Education President Maria Valado.

The board voted 7-0 to approve the resolution. Trustees Lisa Burke and Ava Finnerty were absent and did note vote.

The next Board of Education meeting will be on Feb. 23. For more information, go to bboed.org.

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